This lyric belongs to a Christian Folk Hymn written by John Jacob Niles – “I wonder as I wander out under the sky. How Jesus my savior did come for to die. For poor lonely people like you and like I. I wonder as I wander, out under the sky.”
It’s a personal thought about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it’s also a metaphor for how things are revealed to us over what is best described as the odyssey of life, of meanings in shared events personal, professional and profound. The kind of lessons only living can teach at all the right moments in what may very well be the wrong kind of times.
In order for the poet to write with such confidence he had to be comfortable “out under the sky,” not alone, but secure with who he’s ultimately wondering with.
Maybe our nation needs to remember we are not alone as we wander through the uncharted territory we’ve created for ourselves. Perhaps our time is best spent realizing that in what appears to be “the worst of times” there is the promise and potential for the best kind of future.
I’ve been wondering as I wander whether “strange fruit” like we’re seeing in Washington since January 20 can actually produce a meaningful harvest.
Perhaps the proof is in what appears to be an emerging political force. A “perfect storm” of resistance oriented winds swirling around America trying to act as un-American as possible, around the part acquiescing to its lesser self in pursuit of what can never be again, of what it wouldn’t like even if it’s prophets of “let’s make America great again” got everything they want.
The truth is there’s nothing to get since the vast majority know we’ve never stopped being a great nation. They too realize American greatness is not defined by regaining some lost and unearned sense of privilege.
After all privilege is a deceptive companion, isn’t it? It plays on a false sense of self. The idea that we have a right to something we haven’t earned. There’s nothing wrong with inheriting wealth. What’s wrong is to think we don’t have to keep earning it, to think someone’s obligated to work to keep us wealthy for only what we think they should have.
Seems our children live by a similar sense of entitlement. From kindergarten to high school many often misunderstand their parents’ extraordinary ability to provide. Mom would say “They think the world owes them something.” Could it be some of us think the owing is due to what we didn’t have growing up, the position ancestors used to occupy for all the wrong reasons or because we have no idea how to accomplish something on our own?
What a colossal blunder in judgement. To fool ourselves is the worst kind of deception. The last thing we want is to allow the wrong people to manipulate the majority based on a false self image of an emerging minority.
What I’m wondering as I wander is whether anyone’s paying attention to the un-intended result of this special kind of insanity playing out in the White House? Are we watching coalitions gradually discover each other?
I’ve not seen the coalescing of the women’s vote like this since the 60’s. Women, Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants now have something more powerful in common. Moderates and Conservatives in both houses and parties along with the Legislative and Judicial Branches are seeing the same threat to democracy and the real American way of life. None of the above can ignore the emerging of a Third World Dictatorship mindset masquerading as populist democracy.
I do wonder as I wander out under this uncertain sky, what kind of America will emerge from this foray into a dangerously entertaining kind of reality tv government. Will we hold onto who we really are? And, will we quietly gather at the ballot box (as soon as possible) to vote this nonsense out of office at every level?
Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award Winning Investigative Television Journalist who’s worked in Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Richmond and as a Freelance Correspondent for CNN. He’s a graduate of Virginia Union University and its Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology.